SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — More than 25,000 people flooded Capitol Mall Monday night for a free concert and conversation about justice reform.
Grammy-winning host and rapper Common now hopes to take the moment inside Capitol walls, as he pushes lawmakers to make a difference.
“If you wanna see a better world, better conditions for your family, then you gotta step out there and do something,” Common said.
Earlier this year, Common kicked off his “Hope and Redemption” Tour, playing four concerts in four prisons. Now, he’s urging California legislators in Sacramento to make some real changes to reduce the number of incarcerated adolescents.
“One of the most important things in my life has been to help people who are being overlooked and help people who are being treated unjustly,” Common said.
Raphael Calix spent 33 years behind bars for robbery and kidnapping but says he’s not the same 26-year-old he was back then.
“There is such a thing as recycling human beings who were criminals and giving him an opportunity to reenter society,” he told CBS13.
Legislation on the table aims to stop juveniles from receiving life sentences and require them to have legal counsel before talking to police.
“We’re wasting money, we’re ruining lives, and there’s better ways to deal with any of the problems that we have right now,” said CNN political commentator and event speaker Van Jones.
But after a slew of different speakers, Pastor Sam Casey broke down the overall message in just one sentence.
“Get out and hold your legislators accountable to the things that matter to us and to this community,” Casey said.
Common also has plans to stop at Folsom State Prison on Tuesday and perform for the inmates.